I love to kick off the new trading week by taking a quick peek at companies that have just hiked their dividends. It's not just about the money; a company that is easing up on its pocketbook probably has improving fundamentals to back up that generosity.

Readers of the Income Investor newsletter can certainly appreciate that kind of thinking. Let's take a closer look at four of the companies that inched their payouts higher over the past week.

We'll start with Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB). The soupy sales leader boosted its "M'm, M'm, Good" quarterly dividend by 10% to $0.22 a share.   

Also sweetening the pot for investors is Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (NASDAQ:RMCF). The chain of decadent treats for chocoholics is inching its payout 5% higher. Shareholders will now be on the receiving end of $0.10 every three months for every share they own.

And it's likely to get even better for Rocky. The company has actually propped up its quarterly distributions 10 times over the past four years.

ConAgra (NYSE:CAG) is another hiker. The foodstuffs maker behind supermarket staples like Chef Boyardee canned pasta meals, Hunt's ketchup, and Slim Jim beef jerky treats is bumping up its yield. The company's new quarterly disbursement is $0.19 per share, a penny higher than the old rate. The company also committed itself to a $500 million share repurchase plan, truly putting its money where its mouth is.

Finally, we have International Game Technology (NYSE:IGT) hitting the jackpot. The slot machine maker's quarterly dividend is climbing 8% to $0.14 a share. OK, that may not technically be a jackpot in slot lingo, but it's probably good for a pair of stemmed cherries.

Subscribers to the Income Investor newsletter can appreciate the companies sending more and more money to their investors. The newsletter singles out companies that are committed to growing their distributions with market-thumping results.

Want to see what's being recommended these days? Go ahead and give the newsletter service a shot with a 30-day trial subscription. Who knows? Maybe the next thing that will get hiked will be your interest.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.